North Sea Wrecks Project – Steering Group meeting

26 November 2019

The Secretariat attended the second steering group meeting of the North Sea Wrecks Project in Bremerhaven from 21-22 October 2019 and gave a short presentation on the work of OSPAR - in particular how it assesses human activities. This was the second steering group meeting – including invitation to advisory board members (which includes OSPAR Secretariat). The main purpose of the meeting was to report on progress against the various work packages.

The main elements of the project are to improve the data on wrecks containing munitions. This includes looking at historic archive data (e.g. to find out what munitions each ship was carrying at the time of their sinking). Expert risk assessments are carried out of a selection of wrecks, including survey work and toxicology tests of mussels and fish. These will be used to build a decision support tool that can give preliminary risk rating for all wrecks (using machine learning). The risk ratings would cover issues such as safety of navigation, environment, food safety and personnel safety. Another work package is aimed at identifying any legal gaps and making policy recommendations. A final package will focus on communications and awareness raising, including a travelling exhibition.

The project is building on the Daimon project which covers the Baltic Sea.

Image: SMS Hindenburg 1919, taken by a Royal Navy official photographer